Maryland NFA – Class III Firearms Dealer

United Gun Shop is a NFA – Class III firearms dealer (Special Occupational Tax – SOT). Title II firearms as they are also referred to as are not as commonly known nor as straight forward as the Title 1 firearms.  At United Gun Shop we can educate you on these items and help you own them legally.

All Class III / title 2 weapons fall into 1 of 6 different categories:

  1. Machine guns – Often referred to as full-autos, automatics, etc… any firearm which fires more than 1 bullet for each individual pull of the trigger.
  2. Short Barreled Rifles (SBRs) – Rifles with barrels less than 16 inches
  3. Short Barreled Shotguns (SBSs) – Shotguns with barrels less than 18 inches
  4. Silencers (Suppressors) – Silencers (suppressors) are rarely portrayed accurately in the movies. If the bullet speed breaks the sound barrier, you will hear a pop. Suppressors are meant to alter the signature of a weapon so that it sounds like something else and/or the sound heard doesn’t mark the shooter’s position as easily as a non-suppressed weapon. With that said, a .22 cal firearm can be suppressed very well. In fact, you can make them so quiet that the action cycling produces more sound than the fired bullet does. With other calibers, sub-sonic ammo can be used to lessen the signature as the bullet leaves the barrel.
  5. Any Other Weapon (AOWs) –  These items are usually things that don’t meet the other criteria above. For example, put a fore grip on a pistol — guess what? You just created an AOW weapon and if the proper paperwork and approval were not obtained prior, you have violated NFA regulations and possess a contraband weapon that carries severe fines and penalties. AOWs are a little special in that the transfer tax for them is only $5.00.
  6. Destructive Devices (DDs) – The ATF has classified several classes of shotguns now as destructive devices. The infamous ‘Street Sweeper’ shotgun is considered a DD by the ATF and falls into the NFA realm.

All Title 2 firearms are regulated by what’s known as the National Firearm Act or what also is referred to as NFA.  Below is some helpful information in regards to NFA weapons/items:

1. It is legal to own an NFA item in almost every state. Most all 6 categories above are allowed in just about all states within the Continental United States. A few states restrict machine gun ownership, others may restrict short barreled shotguns (SBSs) or suppressors.

2. An individual does not need to obtain a “Class III” weapons license to own one.

3. All NFA weapons regardless of category are controlled during their transfer from one person/entity to another. These weapons transfer to another entity on what is called ATF tax forms. Each ownership transfer must be approved by the ATF before the transfer takes place. Generally speaking, dealer to dealer transfers run about 3-4 weeks up to 2 months, individual transfers are approved in 5 months to a year and NFA trust transfers are approved in 3-5 months. Transfers from/to individuals require a one time $200 tax stamp to be paid for EACH transfer (AOWs require just a $5 stamp). These are considered tax paid transfers and usually are on an ATF Form 4. Dealers transfer to other dealers using a tax free Form 3.  If an individual purchases a NFA weapon or item from an entity outside his/her domicile (home) state, the weapon must be transferred 1st to a NFA – Class III firearms dealer within the buyer’s state (similar to a regular Title 1 FFL firearm transaction).

4. Building a NFA weapon. In 1986 President Ronald Reagan signed a bill that basically stopped the building of any new machine guns. The Firearm Owners Protection Act, which would loosen restrictions on gun ownership with the reopening of interstate sales of long guns on a limited basis, legalization of ammunition shipments through the U.S. Postal Service (a partial repeal of the Gun Control Act), removal of the requirement for record keeping on sales of non-armor-piercing ammunition, and federal protection of transportation of firearms through states where possession of those firearms would otherwise be illegal, also contained an amendment, The Hughes Amendment, (William J. Hughes D- N.J.) which prohibited civilians from owning any machine gun manufactured after 1986. All the other 5 categories (SBRs, SBSs, Silencers, AOWs and Destructive Devices) however can still be made, even by an individual, if he/she first applies for and receives permission to do so. An entity or individual would file an ATF Form 1 (maker form) and pay a $200 make tax fee. A civilian can still legally own any machine gun that was created prior to May 1986 as long as they get approval on the ATF form 4 discussed above. No entity or individual can possess a machine gun manufactured after May 1986 except for law enforcement and military.

5. An interesting and widely unknown fact, since the NFA went into effect in 1934, there has only been ONE, yes, ONE single felony committed in the whole United States since 1934 that involved a legally registered NFA firearm. And it was committed ironically by a crooked police officer who went to a drug house and shot someone on the premises. He used his legally acquired UZI sub machinegun to commit the crime. You hear all the time of machineguns and sawed off shotguns in the news but these have all been used by individuals possessing an illegal, non registered weapons. There are literally millions of records of legally owned entries on the NFA registry!

NFA related ATF forms:

ATF Form 1 – Maker Form – used by non manufactures to make NFA weapons – for civilians, only Short Barrel Rifles, Short Barreled Shotguns, Silencers and AOWs can still be made (after May 1986). The ‘one time’ tax stamp for this form is $200. Maker will received an approved form back from ATF and he/she can then make the item in question. Once made, if transfer of ownership is ever needed, this would be facilitated on a Form 4 below.

ATF Form 3 – Dealer to Dealer tax-free form. Any SOT can transfer to any other SOT tax free NFA weapons entity has in their possession/ownership. This is usually done when someone buys an item and it is transferred from a dealer in one state to a dealer in the buyer’s state to facilitate the approval/filing process.

ATF Form 4 – Tax paid to/from individual form – used when a NFA item is transferred TO or FROM an individual. Even if the individual transfers the said item to a SOT holder/dealer, there still is a $200 transfer tax. Once the SOT has the NFA item, they can transfer it back out to another SOT holder tax free (Form 3) or directly to another individual in their state on a tax paid ATF Form 4.

ATF Form 5320 – Used in the Interstate Transportation of all Title II firearms. If you are traveling between states, you WILL need to fill this form out a few weeks in advance. NFA weapons must remain in the possession of the registered owner with just a few exceptions; you may not permit anyone to have possession of your weapon without you being in immediate presence.

LEGAL DISCLAIMER: This content is not legal advice and does not constitute as an attorney / client relationship. If you need professional legal advice, please contact an qualified attorney that practices in this field.